Do You Have TMJ Disorder?

burdstmjdisorderDid you know over 10 million people in the United States suffer from a common oral health issue? TMJ disorder, also known as TMD, can lead to difficulty opening and closing the mouth, as well as a host of uncomfortable symptoms. Fortunately, we can discuss treatment options, so you can avoid the uncomfortable symptoms and complications of TMD.

Try Our TMJ Disorder Quiz

  1. True or False: Injury to your jaw can cause TMD.
  2. True or False: Headaches can be a warning sign of TMJ disorder.
  3. True or False: The issue can be linked to bruxism.
  4. True or False: We can treat the problem with an oral appliance.

Answer Key

  1. True. Along with injury, other causes may include tooth loss, misalignment, and bruxism (teeth grinding). The issue arises when the jaw joints become strained. Without treatment, you may eventually have trouble fully opening or closing the mouth.
  2. True. Headaches, a popping or clicking sensation in the jaw, earaches, and pain in the face, neck, or shoulders are all common warning signs. If you notice persistent discomfort in or around your face then consider seeing the dentist. The doctor will examine you and see if TMJ disorder is behind your uncomfortable symptoms.
  3. True. Bruxism refers to the chronic grinding of the teeth or clenching of the jaw. The issue can strain the jaw joints, leading to TMJ disorder. However, if you have TMD then bruxism can be a complication that develops from jaw joint strain. Either way, bruxism is serious and can damage your teeth, which may lead to cracks or chips.
  4. True. How do we treat TMD? In many cases the doctor will simply use an oral appliance. The device looks similar to a nightguard. Patients wear it while sleeping. The device repositions the jaw to ease strain. If you also grind your teeth then the appliance can place a barrier between the upper and lower teeth, preventing further damage to the teeth from grinding episodes.